Hélder Freitas Gonçalves about WONCA Rio 2016

My attendance to WONCA in Rio was an unique experience. I was able to interact with specialists and residents from all over the world and got the opportunity to share hopes and visions from different sociocultural contexts of clinical practice.


During five days of conference, the program was extensive englobing a range of themes going from clinical topics to organizational issues and quality improvement in individualized primary health care. This structure allowed each participant to build his own personal conference program, peaking the best suitable themes for their particular interests. I had the opportunity to participate in some workshops. In one of them I reinforced my knowledge and skills on a technique already initiated during my residency in Family Health Unit of S. João do Estoril (Portugal): corticosteroids periarticular infiltrations for rheumatic diseases. Another example was that of myofascial syndrome treatment that allowed enlarging my scope of care for patients with muscular pain.


On a session about internships abroad, resident colleagues shared their own feelings and perspectives, leaving me the will for such fulfilling experience as a doctor and human being, especially those taken part on Amazonia and São Tomé e Príncipe. Given the lack of resources, self-determination and professional engagement are crucial to make the difference.


On association with my participation on WONCA, I visited two family clinics (“clínicas da família”) in Rio. The development of this units came parallel to our primary health care units (“unidades de saúde familiar”), although only 3 years later. On a city with more than 6 million people, social and economic inequities are well-marked. From the urban side to the suburbs this public health system tries to promote equity of care among persons and their families. I must highlight the opportunity to visit community of Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil, and get aware to their reality from the inside. Here, multiprofessional team of “Clinica da família Maria do Socorro Silva e Souza”, plays a big role integrating distinct levels of care, facing challenges every day for a common goal, acessible and good health care to all.


Overall, the take-home message is that family medicine still growing worldwide and each one of us can take part on this process in a mutual effort for innovation and excellence.


Hélder Freitas Gonçalves

3rd Year Resident on General Practice